Turn your Clutter into Cash!

In our household, January is a time for breathing life into our home. Instead of waiting for spring, we like to focus on cleaning and organizing at the beginning of the year. We put our Christmas stuff away and the house becomes void of knick-knacks. While I love bringing all of the cute decorations out for the holidays, I’m always glad to have a clean slate to work with again.

Having to consciously re-decorate and organize our house after New Year’s causes us to evaluate a lot of the stuff we’ve accumulated over the previous year—especially if it’s just cluttering up our living space. Instead of throwing everything out, we use our unwanted belongings to earn us some extra money.

If you’re currently in the process of decluttering your home, here are four easy ways to turn your clutter into cash!

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  • Sell your Old Books (or New Ones!): Maybe you’re an avid reader, who keeps every book they buy. Or, maybe you have a stack of old college textbooks cluttering up your home office. If so, half.com is an excellent way to sell books you no longer need or want. All you have to do is set up an account and list the books you’d like to sell using the ISBN number, usually found above the barcode. You don’t even have to take a picture of each book—the website provides one for you. Simply select the condition of the book and the price you want to list it at. The site is run through Ebay and payments are made via PayPal. I’ve personally had a lot of success with half.com. It’s a quick process and a great way to make some extra money!
  • Sell your Clothes: I’ve sold a couple of nice dresses on Ebay and countless other clothing items to consignment stores and Plato’s Closet. They don’t always take everything I bring in—sometimes, they don’t want anything! The key is to have clean, gently-used clothes that are either name-brand or at least in demand. For example, a while back I was able to sell a non-brand name denim shirt that I’d had for years(!) to Plato’s, just because it’s so popular right now. Selling clothes takes a little more work, but it CAN be done and for a pretty good profit.
  • Have a Garage/Yard Sale: This is a tried-and-true method for making some cash while getting rid of unwanted stuff. Whether it’s a set of dishes from your first apartment or some artwork that doesn’t quite fit your new décor—a garage sale is a fantastic way to turn household clutter into cash. Gather up all of the items you’d like to sell and designate prices for everything. Make sure the prices are a little higher than what you’d like to actually get, because people come to haggle! Enlist the help of friends and family to make the process more efficient. You can even have them bring items of their own to sell! The more stuff you have to sell, the better the turnout will be. Ryan and I did this with my family last year and it was a huge success! Everyone made some money and had lots of fun in the process. My biggest tip would be advertise—A LOT! Posting signs on street corners are good, but an advertisement on Craigslist (a few days before and the day of, with pictures) is even better!
  • Speaking of Craigslist…: You’ll get the best return on larger pieces, like furniture and musical equipment, by selling these things on Craigslist. When we moved from our apartment to our house, we utilized Craigslist to sell things like a living room set and dining room table. It’s been very successful for us and I highly recommend it. Just be sure to speak with any prospective buyers on the phone directly, for safety reasons. 🙂

Have you tried any of these? If so, let me know what’s been successful for you!

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